German forward Michael Rataj has committed to Oregon State, he told ESPN on Friday.
Rataj, 18, is considered one of the most promising European forwards committing to the college route. He averaged 15 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.4 steals in just 22 minutes per game at the FIBA U18 European Challengers this past summer for Germany, finishing as the third most prolific per-minute scorer and fifth in player efficiency rating (PER) at the event.
He also represented Germany at the U16 European Championship in 2019.
Rataj grew up with Bayern Munich but moved to Ratiopharm Ulm this past summer. He’s splitting time between their first team, which competes in the German BBL and EuroCup, and second team, OrangeAcademy, which competes in the professional German third division.
He’s the second-youngest player to see minutes in the EuroCup, a pan-European competition for some of the best teams on the continent, and is also averaging 16 points in 26 minutes per game for OrangeAcademy.
Rataj is a skilled and versatile player who started at small forward for his national team and is used primarily on the wing for Ulm as well, despite standing 6-foot-9. He is an effective perimeter shooter who likes to ignite fast breaks pushing off the defensive glass and shows good timing and creativity finishing around the basket and creating open looks for teammates. He’s an instinctual and competitive defender who shows strong awareness getting in passing lanes and guarding multiple positions.
Oregon State had its best season in decades in 2020-21, winning the Pac-12 tournament and making the Elite Eight of the NCAA tournament.
Jonathan Givony is an NBA Draft expert and the founder and co-owner of DraftExpress.com, a private scouting and analytics service utilized by NBA, NCAA and International teams.